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Tools & Toys

Village life among subsistence farmers is busy year around. Over countless generations of food and material production and harvesting, the Lao and Vietnamese hilltribe people have developed a beautiful and practical art that pervades their daily efforts. Whether tending the fields or harvesting the generosity of the jungle, implements such as knives, rice cutters, cross-bows, powderhorns and even opium scales play a vital role in daily life. The talent that creates the best of these implements is revered.

Children are children everywhere, and although young people are encouraged to grow up and participate in the rigor of daily survival, there is always time available for play. Many of the toys are created solely through the imagination, and, as everywhere, we see children inventing games with sticks, rocks and used tires. Above the Fray does offer a modest selection of finely crafted toys, including spinning tops and carved dolls and animal figures.

Metal-workers and tool makers create the most ancient and necessary art.
Toy-makers and craftspeople create art that gives pause to the daily rigor of subsistence living.
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